Members of the AVPCAC Council
Animal Welfare - Dr Anne Quain
Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Bachelor of Science (Vet)(Hons), Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Hons), MVetStud GradCertEduStud (HigherEd), DipECAWBM (AWSEL)
Anne is a companion animal veterinarian and senior lecturer at the Sydney School of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney. Before studying veterinary science, she completed an honours degree in philosophy. She has working in veterinary general practice since 2005.
She has a special interest in animal welfare and ethical decision making, and co-authored Veterinary Ethics: Navigating Tough Cases with Professor Siobhan Mullan (University College, Dublin). She has written over 50 peer-reviewed articles on veterinary ethics and aspects of primary care. She is interested in the assessment and improvement of quality of life in companion animals. She blogs at www.smallanimaltalk.com and writes a fortnightly companion animal column for Australian Community Media.
Palliative & End of Life Care - Dr Jackie Campbell
Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Hons), Diploma of Canine Myotherapy (Dip Galen CMT), Certified Animal Hospice and Palliative Care Veterinarian (CHPV)
Jackie is one of Australia’s leading voices in the field of veterinary palliative care medicine. She graduated from the University of Queensland in 2006 and spent eight years in general practice before founding Sunset Home Vets, Australia’s largest network of veterinarians focused exclusively on end-of-life care.
She has a special interest in mobility, musculoskeletal issues and the management of chronic pain, making her a vocal supporter of the inclusion of allied health professionals such as physiotherapists within veterinary treatment plans. She has been a TEDx speaker and a University of Queensland, Young Alumni Awardee and continues to passionately advocate for more awareness of palliative care issues within her industry.
Chair, Clinical Communication and Grief Education - Rosie Overfield
Bachelor of Communication, Graduate Diploma of Counselling, Master of Human Resources and Organisational Development, Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, GAICD, Advance Care Planning Facilitator, Principal Master Mental Health First Aid Instructor.
Rosie has been working in the veterinary industry since 1999 and is a well-respected clinical communication educator and experienced counsellor. Rosie manages her own bond-centred veterinary practice in Queensland as well as consulting and training with other veterinary teams across Australasia to help them understand the pet parent experience through pet palliation, end-of-life planning, and all types of grief and bereavement.
She regularly delivers workshops and conference sessions, in both veterinary and human fields, on clinical communication, advance care planning, grief and loss, and self-care as an EOL/death work professional. Rosie is the current Chair of AVPCAC.
Oncology - Dr Kathleen O'Connell
Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Hons), Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (Oncology), Member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (Small Animal Medicine), Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Hons) (Microbiology)
Kathleen has been dedicated to the field of oncology since working on the human melanoma vaccine trial at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in 2001 as a researcher. She credits her background in immunology research and publication of a thesis on tumour cell metastasis with piquing her interest in the specialty of oncology. After a number of years in cancer research she completed a Bachelor of Veterinary Science, graduating from the University of Queensland in 2006 with first class honours.
Following graduation, she worked in general practice in Brisbane before commencing training as a resident in Veterinary Oncology in 2008. In 2010 she attained MANZCVS in Small Animal Medicine and then in 2013 attained FANZCVS and became a registered specialist in Veterinary Oncology. She is a co-owner of Veterinary Oncology Services and a founding partner of the new Animal Referral Hospital located in Sinnamon Park, Brisbane.
Animal Physiotherapy - Brooke Williams
Bachelor of Physiotherapy, Master of Animal Studies
Brooke is a qualified human Physiotherapist specialised in Animal Physiotherapy and is a highly motivated member of her field. She graduated from the University of Queensland in 1997 and completed the Masters of Animal Studies (Physiotherapy) in 2005. Since this time Brooke has focused her energy on helping to establish this new profession in Australia as one of the most rapidly growing industries in Veterinary Medicine. She has been the Chair of the Animal Physiotherapy Group of APA, finalist of the International Veterinary Rehabilitation Therapost award, and been involved in the development and teaching on APA courses for Physiotherapists. She has lectured at Veterinary and APA conferences throughout Australia, and teaches on the Post Graduate Masters of Veterinary Physiotherapy (University Liverpool UK) program.
As the director of Holistic Animal Physiotherapy, Brooke has worked in many Veterinary Specialist centres to rehabilitie a wide variety of acute and chronic conditions. She has established a purpose built rehabilitiation centre on the Sunshine Coast and has a passion to maximise the quality of life for her patients (owners included) right to the end stages. Brooke believes working closely with the veterinary profession fosters a uniquely holistic team approach to every animal’s rehabilitation.
Legals and Veterinary Nursing - Cat Walker
Bachelor of International Studies (Hons1), Bachelor of Laws, Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice, Certificate IV in Veterinary Nursing, Registered Veterinary Nurse
Cat started her career in corporate social responsibility assessment before working as a solicitor in planning and environment law, litigation, and later as a regional generalist. Cat took a break from law to become the co-founder, co-owner and General Manager of a GP veterinary surgery for over 7 years. During this time she became a registered veterinary nurse and developed a passion for the industry.
Cat sold her veterinary practice in 2021 and is now the Veterinary Nurse Manager of the Animal Emergency Service on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. She is also the creator and host of the Radio Vet Nurse podcast. Cat uses her unique blend of veterinary and legal skills and knowledge to advocate for positive change in the veterinary industry.
Small Animal Euthanasia - Dr Emma Whiston
Bachelor of Veterinary Science (Hons), Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Veterinarian (CHPV), Fear Free Certified Veterinarian
After graduating from the University of Melbourne in 1993, Emma worked in small animal practice until 2004 when she established Australia’s first dedicated veterinary home euthanasia service called My Best Friend. Emma is passionate about all aspects of end of life care and her particular special interest is in achieving optimal euthanasia experiences for all involved – the animal, the owner and also the attending veterinary professionals. Emma enjoys working collaboratively with colleagues and as well as mentoring, lecturing and speaking, she is a keen advocate for improving mental health and emotional well-being for veterinary professionals.
Hospice & Companion Animal Euthanasia - Dr Kathleen Cooney
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (USA), Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Veterinarian, Master of Science (Neurobiology), Bachelor of Science (Zoology)
Kathleen is the council’s first international contributing member and brings with her a wealth of experience in end of life care. She has been practising advanced hospice medicine for over 10 years and is the founder of Home to Heaven, P.C. in Loveland, Colorado, one of the world’s first, and largest, animal hospice services.
Kathleen is a past President of the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC) and remains active in their organisation, including design of their Animal Hospice and Palliative Care Certification Program, launched in 2016. Kathleen was one of the first in the world to become a certified provider of animal hospice and palliative care. She is well-known for her work in companion animal euthanasia and has authored two books on the subject. In 2017, Kathleen launched a certificate program for the Companion Animal Euthanasia Training Academy. She is a strong advocate for best practices in all aspects of end-of-life care and speaks internationally on such topics.
Critical & Emergency Care Specialist - Dr Cheryl Braswell
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (USA), Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care, Certified Veterinary Hyperbaric Technologist, Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner
Cheryl has been practising veterinary medicine for 36 years, graduating from the University of Georgia in 1979. She originally started her career as an associate small animal general practitioner, however in 2005, pursued a residency in small animal emergency and critical care. Cheryl has a sincere passion for the care of veterinary patients with life-limiting diagnoses and believes there is a place for palliative medicine and hospice care of veterinary patients seen in the emergent setting.
In addition to her Diplomate status in the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care (2012), Cheryl is a Certified Veterinary Hyperbaric Technologist (2013) and a Certified Veterinary Pain Practitioner. She is the Chief of Emergency and Critical Care at the Regional Institute for Veterinary Emergency and Referral (RIVER), Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Veterinary Behaviour - Dr Heather Chee
BVSc (Hons) Member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (Veterinary Behaviour)
Heather graduated as a vet from the University of Sydney in 2007 and spent 5 years working as a small animal vet in general practice before joining the Veterinary Behaviour Component of RSPCA NSW working regionally to help animals within shelters with behavioural disorders. In 2014, she founded Vet Behaviour Team with Dr Amanda Cole, working with families to address the crippling effect of mental disease on our pets. Her passion is to teach people to recognise and understand fear, distress and anxiety in our pets and so they can help their pets lead happier lives.
Pharmacology - Dr Vivian Song
BVSc, Member of the Australian and New Zealand College of Veterinary Scientists (Pharmacology).
Vivian is a companion animal veterinarian who graduated from the University of Sydney and worked for pharmaceutical companies for 8 years in various functions including clinical research. Vivian currently works for a medical research institute in Sydney.
Outside of work, Vivian has a membership in pharmacology with the Australia and New Zealand College of Veterinary scientists and has been involved with the pharmacology chapter as the current examiner for veterinary pharmacology.